A coalition of Community Action Tenants Union branches in North Dublin City have launched the No Evictions campaign because we believe that every member of the community should be able to live peacefully in their home without fear of being violently evicted. We consider the high incidence of violent evictions in this area to be a humanitarian crisis. We call on all local inhabitants, and all of Dublin, to join us in showing the people who would carry out these evictions that we are going to fight to keep our community safe from violence.
Property developers like the McGrath group have repeatedly shown that they are willing to use this crisis to profiteer off of the community. In the past year they have made up to five million euro in profit by squeezing as much as possible out of people simply looking for somewhere to live. Companies like these evict people from their homes with little or no notice, and force us to pay higher and higher rents while living in increasing levels of squalor. Places that could be used to house precarious residents are allowed to fall derelict in the name of increasing profit margins.
However, we are not helpless. On October 28th of this year, the residents of 23 Prussia St, or Sunnyvale, were able to reclaim their space after one such violent eviction. This property stood neglected for years before the residents of Sunnyvale opened up the site to the community and turned it into a social centre, as well as much-needed housing for some of our most vulnerable. This collective has done nothing but give to our community, including space to meet each other and organise free social events. This stands in stark contrast to the McGraths, who would see this space rot. Threatened by the power that comes from collectively standing up to land hoarding and dereliction, the McGrath group sent masked thugs in on an early morning to brutalise the people living there, smashing whatever they could with baseball bats and destroying people’s personal posessions. The residents of Sunnyvale mobilised us to help them stand their ground against these violent evictors. The masked thugs eventually fled the space in unmarked vans, having done as much damage as they possibly could – including destroying the very infrastructure of their own property, rather than see it fall to the hands of the people who need it most. After taking back Sunnyvale, a group of CATU members and local neighbours stayed to protest the inhumane actions of the McGraths. The residents returned to the space and are rebuilding the social centre, however they still need, as we all still need, a broad, community-led movement to support them in the struggle against for-profit property development.
We know that it is possible to live without the constant threat of eviction, and without the constant drudgery of rising rents and stagnant wages. We can organise against this increasingly grim status quo. We can take back our streets and our homes from the hands of ghoulish property developers. Together, we can send a message to the McGraths, and all would-be evictors. We demand that they put an end to their shameless land hoarding, dereliction, evictions, high rents, and abuse of the community We demand that the needs of the people come before the deliberate scarcity of housing. You can stand with us on the 12th of December at 2pm, outside their main place of business at 36 Mount Street Upper, Dublin 2, D02 Y982, to show them that there’s a growing number of people who refuse to let them continue to abuse their unfair position of power as landlords and land hoarders. There’s power in the collective, so come join us in the fight for our community!